PERFECT GUEST REVIEWS – THE DAUNTING GOAL OF EVERY HOTELIER AND RESORT MANAGER
I’ve recently returned from a business trip where I spent half an hour sitting in the hotel reception waiting for my (late) airport transfer. Between calls to the taxi company, I had plenty of time to watch the members of staff rushing around, keeping the place running: receptionists, concierge, security guards, housekeeping and porters, to name a few. It reminded me what a task it is for a hotel manager to keep tabs on everyone to ensure everything is done as and when it should be. And of course that’s exactly what they need to do all day, every day to get the all important 5-star guest reviews on websites - no easy task!
But the fact is, getting those top ratings is essential if you want new and repeat business. Management has to turn every challenge into an opportunity to deliver outstanding guest experiences, day and night, week in, week out. But how? How do you streamline operations and connect everyone together, no matter where they work, what they do or which device they use? How do you get them pulling together as a team not just in moments of crisis, but day-to-day, to provide the slick, seamless response that’s required to keep guests safe and satisfied?
At Motorola Solutions, we believe we have the answer. It’s called unified voice and data communications. One solution that connects people with real-time information - from the reception desk to the car park, from the restaurant to the penthouse suite, from the health club to the boiler room. It means you can get everyone communicating as one team, so staff can respond faster, make better decisions and deal with everything more efficiently. And that all adds up to superior guest experiences and better reviews.
Implementing unified voice and data communications means that next time your guest gets asked by their friends ‘How was the hotel? Would you recommend it?’ you can feel more optimistic about their response.
Unlike my taxi company!
Discover how next generation MOTOTRBO™ radios help improve safety.
Hotels and resorts can be large and consistently busy places. There are usually hundreds of guests, staff and visitors on site throughout the day. In order to keep them safe and secure, security teams need to be able to communicate instantaneously with each other and with other departments.
Security staff are dependent on seamless communication, especially when responding to a situation on site. Whether it be a fire alarm in the conference room or a staff member injured in a remote area of the resort, instantaneous communication is key to dealing with these situations quickly. Because when staff respond promptly, risk is controlled.
The new MOTOTRBO radios have a range of enhancements that provide the reliable, resilient voice and data communications required to communicate information clearly. They connect and coordinate teams with a range of devices, wherever they’re working. The new radios include a range of features to help improve safety at your resort:
To find out more read our brochure 'Elevating Guest Experiences'
Sean Fitzgerald, Senior Solutions Marketing Manager, Motorola Solutions
Connect with Sean on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/sean-fitzgerald/1/705/4a0
Why two-way digital radio is out-performing mobile phones for hotel communications, every time!
I'm sure you've experienced the problem... you're trying to reach a colleague or staff member on their mobile phone, but either you're in a black-spot, they've got no signal or perhaps you're both in busy, noisy places? Interrupted conversations, voicemail messages, shouting and straining to hear… the sheer frustration of it all is stressful enough, let alone the lost time and poor guest experience it leaves in its wake. And I've not even mentioned cost, durability or usability issues yet!
So - are you struggling-on with mobile phones, or joining the increasing number of organisations heading back to two-way radio? Because efficient communication between staff is the key to meeting your guests' demands, which in turn generates good reviews, personal recommendations and increased bookings.65% of enterpise mobile users say their phone batteries "frequently" or "occasionally" don't last even one shift1
BUT CAN MOBILE PHONES REALLY BE DETRIMENTAL TO THE GUEST EXPERIENCE?
Well, yes, I believe so. For hoteliers and the hospitality industry, mobile phones have proved to be not-so-mobile - and not so smart - afterall. They don't actually work anywhere and everywhere; they aren't as rugged as a radio; and they certainly can't connect you to multiple people, in different locations, all at the same time and all at the push of just one button.
Here's some food for thought....
- Consumer devices (mobile phones and smart phones) are 3x more likely to fail than digital radios2. It's quite simple, they tend to break when they're dropped, unlike radios.
- Each failure costs 60 - 120 minutes of lost work time1. So, that's up to 2 hours your staff are not available to you or your guests and, in effect, prevented from doing their job.
- And over a 5 year period, consumer devices incur 50% higher costs than radios3. Because there are no monthly charges, call charges or package limitations with two-way radios.
Even if you have good mobile network coverage, the signal is unlikely to reach places such as your kitchens, service corridors, cellars or underground car parks. Plus you're typically limited to one-to-one communication; finding the number, dialing, waiting for a connection and finally talking, can be surprisingly time-consuming, especially when you have to do it multiple times.
All of which means when your guests need information or assistance, they may just have to wait for it - and we all know how much guests like waiting around don't we?
Some of you may still be thinking: "Two-way radios? Aren't mobile phones the obvious choice these days?" And yes, they may be obvious - mainly because we all have one for personal use - but are they the right choice for your critical staff communications?
For instance, did you know the annual failure rate of consumer mobile devices in taxing applications is 18% - 20%.
So, before you commit to a potentially lengthy and expensive mobile phone contract, it pays to arm yourself with all the facts. In a comparison of key attributes, it's easy to see how two-way radios 'outsmart' mobile phones...check out the infographic:
Do you use mobile phones in the workplace? Have they ever let you down?
1"Business-Critical Communications: Benefits of Selecting Two-Way Radios over Cellular Phones"; VDC Research, 2014
2Krebs, David. "Enterprise Mobility & Connected Devices"; VDC Research, August 2013
3Mobile Device TCO Models for Line of Business Solutions; Volum 1/Track 7: Enterprise Mobile Device TCO; VDC Research Group, Inc; Mobile and Wireless Practice; February 2013
How radio communications and connected systems can help improve staff management
Your clients expect your room 'gadgets', hotel facilities and conference IT to work: FACT!
But when things go even slightly wrong, how efficiently can you respond?
Resident guests want everything in their room to work; conference and event customers expect everything to run smoothly..and why shouldn't they, they're paying good money. So, how can you give them all exceptional service which will help bookings - especially those lucrative conferences - grow in size and number?
This is where maximising your staff efficiency and minimising your response time really pays off
To illustrate this point I know of a guest who called reception because the power in their room had suddenly gone off. Reception needed the maintenance electrician to attend urgently, but he was out on a job so couldn't answer his desk phone and his mobile wasn't connecting either. Using MOTOTRBO™, a two-way radio system, coverage wasn't an issue and reception instantly got hold of him in the basement. Within minutes the electrician was in the guest room to fix the problem; result: one happy guest!
Makes you wonder just what you could do with the right communications doesn't it?
30% increase in staff productivity when facilities maintenance, supervisors, front desk and housekeeping are linked*
Here are my 6 top tips for creating staff comms which deliver exception service as standard
1. Think about your entire premises, not just public areas - staff need to be contactable even if they're at the other end of the golf course, deep in your basement or up on the roof!
2. Then consider your equipment - does it offer the functions and performance you need to compete today? Is it a little old and shabby? Perhaps a tad on the large, clumsy and obvious side?
3. One-size certainly does not fit all; every department has its own ways of working and a device which does not 'fit in' does not deliver superior guest service - check out your mix of devices and investigate what else is available now - you could even save money!
4. Ask about communication networks which can easily integrate old technology with new and think about your existing equipment; will it work with any new devices and systems you choose? Exploiting integration could save you money.
5. Consider how to get more out of your system - look at job ticket management, people and vehicle tracking, remote monitoring and control of equipment such as intercom/access systems, even management analysis tools.
6. Remember guests don't want to hear or see the effort it takes to deliver first class service - train your staff to behave like swans: calm on the surface, paddling like mad out-of-sight!
It's all about helping your staff collaborate better, which in turn helps keep your facilities in good working order; as a bonus, it can help lower your costs too, through efficiencies such as time-savings, multi-tasking and better job allocation.
How much better could you be with a better communication system? Do your people have the right tools which empower them to be the best? And with your competitors gearing up, can you afford not to take a fresh look at your hotel communications?
* Average benefit reported by Motorola customers
Hospitality communication systems; hotel communication networks; and how you can use them to improve your service
Well, yes...they should all feel like one!
These days, VIP applies to anyone walking into your hotel; from staying guests to those simply visiting your restaurant, bar or conference centre. They all want value for money; all seem to have a growing sense of entitlement to 'VIP' treatment; and can all air and share their opinions online, instantly - putting them in a 'position of power' from which they can demand superior service.
So your service has to excel and standards have to be maintained not just at reception, but throughout the hotel and throughout their stay. Which is where making the most of modern hospitality communications can give you competitive advantage.
Would you like your online reviews to say: "Nice clean hotel", "Good facilities for business travellers"?
These are real reviews achieved by one hotel which provides staff with two-way radios. Early morning inspections were revealing issues; a top floor bar not cleaned after a party the night before; a 'dead' meeting-room projector; wilting pot plants; blown light bulbs. Using a two-way radio, this hotel manager can contact housekeeping, maintenance and IT en-route, so problems are dealt with instantly before guests have chance to notice.
So, good hotel communications deliver good reviews - FACT. But there's more to it than just review: VIP service values can increase your revenues too... Consumers will pay 38% more
7 WAYS TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR HOTEL COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS AND TURN EVERY GUEST INTO A VIP
Responding to guest needs more quickly, more efficiently and more effectively is the hallmark of VIP service...and having the right mix of technology for hotel and hospitality communications simply makes it so much easier for you.
So for front of house or guest-facing staff, choose something small, light and discreet (like our SL Series). Housekeeping and maintenance typically use more robust models with larger screens for easy texting/job allocation (our DP4800 is ideal). Then there's waterproof for the pool (our DP4400 or DP3441); small and robust for your concessions (think DP2400); tough and easy to operate for your gym or golf course (the DP1400); even specialist options for transport services (DM4601 with voice comms and GPS location tracking).
And whichever technology you use, here are my top 7 tips to help you make every customer interaction first class...
1. Don't keep your guests waiting. VIPs expect to be dealt with quickly and efficiently and radio can help you achieve that.
2. Anticipate needs before the guest asks. For instance, with radio comms a porter can contact housekeeping and pre-empt requests: "I've asked housekeeping to bring you fresh towels."
3. Turn "I don't know" into "One moment please..." Every member of staff can't know everything, but using two-way radios they can contact the right person and provide the right information quickly.
4. Don't let comms disturb your guests. A VIP experience is a calm, quiet one! They don't want to hear the chatter of staff, so use earpieces or texting for discreet communications.
5. Respond quickly to issues. Say a guest drops a drink poolside and the glass breaks; your lifeguard can't leave the pool, but with two-way radio he can have housekeeping there and guest safety resorted in minutes.
6. Let staff know a guest is on the way. If a guest asks how to get to the Spa, your staff member can call ahead and have them greeted at the door, perhaps even by name - a real VIP experience.
7. Think 'attention to detail'. For instance, if you offer guest transport a radio with GPS tracking provides extra information: "Mr & Mrs VIP, I can see your car is on its way and will be here in 10 minutes".
Discover the right radio for every one of your people, helping you deliver that VIP guest experience everytime at, www.motorolasolutions.com/mototrbo
*comScore/Kelsey, October 2007
Critical comms; connected systems; and what they mean for guest satisfaction, ratings and reviews
Well - a missing hairdryer's critical when it really upsets your guest...and it gets more critical the longer it takes you to put it right.
Today's instant access, always available, in-your-hand connectivity has created an expectation of immediate response and on-the-spot service; it's absolutely essential for genuine emergencies, but the little things (like that missing hairdryer) are just as important to your satisfaction ratings and online reviews.
So, how would your communications cope with multiple incidents, all happening at once? Would your staff be calm, controlled and working as a well-organised team, or could signs of muddle, stress and panic creep in? And could better connected systems help you deal with guest requests more effectively and efficiently too?
This is where getting your 'critical comms' just right comes in.
Think of 'critical comms' as useful shorthand for "communications which are critical to the smooth running of my business": those times when if the message doesn't get through, the job doesn't get done.
Say your maintenance electrician is away from his desk, in the basement, with no mobile coverage; or you need a quick, easy and centrally co-ordinated way to allocate tasks to the right staff, wherever they are, inside or out; perhaps you even need to locate a 'missing' colleague?
There's one lucky security guard who slipped on ice out in a remote car park, knocked himself out and was saved by his radio! Its MOTOTRBO™ 'lone worker' feature detected there'd been no activity for 10 minutes, sent an automatic message to his supervisor, who used the radio's built-in GPS locator to find the unconscious man and send help.
Makes you realise just how critical the right communications are, doesn't it?
In terms of improving your staff communications, of course I'd say upgrade to modern digital MOTOTRBO™ radios. Even a 'simple' voice system can include special features (such as 'lone worker' which saved that guard); it's totally scalable, your new radios will interoperate with the old ones, so you can switch or add one at a time; you can vary the devices, because they all talk to each other.
These are just nine of the tips I've been sharing with clients for some years now, covering everything from simplying your procedures to future-proofing your system; it's surprising how the simple things can make such a big difference.
I was going to list them all here, but I realise this blog's getting a little long, so I've made them into a download for you instead.
Share it via email, print it , even 'steal' some points for your communication strategy...I just hope it helps.
In the end, it all comes down to effective staff communications...getting them right increases efficiency, lowers your costs, improves safety and increases guest satisfaction - but could your competitors be stealing a march on you by exploiting the technology already?
How well does your current comms system empower your staff? And when did you last upgrade? Could it be time to think again?
Authored by Michael Ruscitti
Hospitality professionals across the globe measure success by how well they satisfy their guests. Whether staying at a five-star luxury hotel and spa in Singapore or a simple, comfortable room in London, managing guest issues quickly and effectively is critical, and exceeding these expectations is the lifeblood of the hospitality industry.
To serve their guests, hospitality professionals around the world currently deploy digital two-way radios for their push-to-talk voice communications. This often includes interacting with various work ticket management software applications that allow the hotel to quickly dispatch personnel to manage guest issues. From needing towels to an air conditioner that needs servicing in a guest room, to requesting extra tables to seat guests more comfortably at an event, systems like the MOTOTRBO™ digital two-way radio system work in conjunction with software solutions to increase effectiveness in resolving these issues.
To understand the unique challenges within the hotel environment, a cross-functional team from Motorola Solutions – consisting of Engineering, Industrial Design, and Marketing – visited with dozens of hotel managers and their staff globally. We observed their guest interactions and reviewed their guest-relations systems. Through this partnership with our customers, we learned that we could further customize our radios to meet their needs. Watch this video to see some of the results from that collaboration.
With customer service as the top priority, bulky radios for front-desk staff, hotel managers and covert security personnel are not comfortable to wear all day, especially when tucked into a suit or attached to a dress. In addition to wanting a radio that was thin, compact, and lightweight, we also learned that reading work tickets on a single-line display was challenging, and it took multiple steps to navigate through menus to read them. Some customers had turned to alternative technologies, such as mobile phones, Blackberries, and iDEN phones, but the devices they were using could not perform the “one to many” functionality of a two-way radio, and were often not rugged enough to survive within an enterprise environment with drops, getting caught in the rain, etc.
Based on our close partnership with our customers, the new SL Series portable was uniquely designed to meet these challenging requirements. With its thin, compact design and a weight comparable to a smartphone, the SL Series can be discreetly and comfortably worn with business attire. And, with a new five-line color display, work tickets can be easily read without scrolling, and its newly designed user interface lets staff members quickly access, respond, and manage their work ticket queue. Adding new features such as vibrate alert and covert mode made effective communication more discreet, and integrated Bluetooth offers a wireless audio option for additional comfort and convenience.
More than 200 MOTOTRBO application partners worldwide further expand functionality and provide solutions to increase guest satisfaction and provide enhanced safety, security and situational awareness to all. Applications provide many benefits including transforming the radio system to a total system solution by integrating the radios to existing hotel work ticket management systems and even connecting the radio system to the existing hotel phone system, enabling radios to receive and place telephone calls.
Click here to see how our complete MOTOTRBO system solution helped the Peabody hotel deliver four-star guest service with voice and data applications. To learn more about the new thin and lightweight MOTOTRBO SL Series of digital two-way radios, please visit www.motorolasolutions.com/mototrbo.
Michael Ruscitti is the Product Manager for the Global Application Development program at Motorola Solutions Inc.